His baroque life was fodder for countless writers. He was born Jean-Claude Julien Léon Tronville to unwed parents in Dijon in 1943 and at 14, working as a bellhop, set out for Paris, encountering Josephine Baker, an entertainer, activist, and French Resistance agent.
Baker mothered the young man as an unofficial addition to the 12 adopted children of her orphan “rainbow tribe”. He, in turn, took her name and, as a budding showman of his own, fostered her twilight career.
In 1993, he co-authored with Chris Chase a biography of Josephine Baker, Josephine: The Hungry Heart, described as a “shocking look into the star’s seriously whitewashed past”.
|Josephine: The Hungry Heart||1993|